In a television appearance Sunday night, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot teased "monumental reforms" to be announced as the city saw its 10th straight day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Lightfoot appeared on "Kasie DC" on MSNBC Sunday night, promising new reforms to be unveiled and again addressing calls to defund the Chicago Police Department.
"I’m hoping that we're going to announce soon some pretty monumental reforms that we pushed for and we've won, and to set the stage for what I know is going to be a long fight around police reform," Lightfoot said, highlighting police contracts as "a significant part of the problem."
"We've got to get unions to understand that they've got to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem," she continued.
"First of all, we've got to speak our values through these contracts. We've got to lay out a very clear set of principles around reform and accountability and not allow the extraordinary due process that police officers get to be a road block to accountability," Lightfoot added.
When asked about protesters calls to defund police, Lightfoot demurred as she has done before in recent days.
"I think what's really underlying this is communities that have been disinvested in for decades and are crying out for resources want resources put into their communities and I agree with that 100%," Lightfoot said. "I ran on this. And we have taken very specific steps to make sure that our communities of color in particular have the resources that they need to be able to thrive and be vibrant."
"We've invested $750 million in 10 commercial corridors in black and brown neighborhoods because we know that those neighborhoods have not received their fair… share of resources. And it's something that we absolutely have to address. That’s really, to me, what’s at the heart of these issues," she continued.
"We know that people will need public safety, but they also need jobs, they need opportunity. They need a pipeline to legitimate economy," Lightfoot added. "And that's what we have to bring as cities. It's not an either/or proposition, it's both. And what needs to lead is making investments in communities around public safety, making investments in mental health, closing health care disparities, and giving people the opportunity to have a pipeline to legitimate jobs in the economy."
When pressed specifically on the question of defunding the Chicago Police Department, Lightfoot said she didn't believe that was the main issue at the center of the protests.
"I don't think that is really what's underlying this," she said. "What I’m hearing in my city and what I’m watching across the country is this desire and demand for resources. And we have an obligation to answer that demand, and that's precisely what we're doing in Chicago and will continue to be doing that."